Some thoughts sneak into our mind without our knowledge, and some thoughts are already in our mind without our knowledge. Music either triggers this knowledge, or it draws the already present knowledge to the surface. For example, this morning was like any other morning. I got up, made the bed, fed the dog, and brushed my teeth while she ate. I got dressed and took her potty after putting on the same blue leash I have put on her every morning since she was a puppy three years ago. Standing in the morning sunlight while she sniffed for the perfect spot, my mind was free of thoughts, or so I thought.
When she finished with her morning ritual, I took her into the house, gave her a pat on the head, and grabbed my running shoes. My mind was still empty as I walked to my car, hit the automatic unlock button, and put the key in the ignition. I turned the key one click and the electric system forced the radio to blast into my ears. Simultaneously, thoughts I wasn’t aware were there came to the surface as I listened to Cutting Crew sing “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight.”
Damn one-hit-wonder-from-the-eighties-past music. I remind myself he is gone, and I have tried to grieve; it is time to move on. It has been fourteen years since middle school and eight months since he did it, and it is still right there. He is no longer here, but it doesn’t prevent me from feeling my love for him. I remember, and it stings because I cannot comfort myself with the idea that he is somewhere remembering the same shared memories I am thinking. I cannot comfort myself with the idea that he might sometimes still think of me. I can’t and don’t wonder if he is happy, or if he remembers how happy we were together a...
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I shut off the radio. I can’t listen to it anymore. I can’t cry, either. The Prozac eliminated the tears months ago. Why can’t the doctors prescribe a pill for erasing the memories instead of numbing the pain? The pill could be orange instead of green, and I could have a feeling of not quite remembering what I forgot. The pharmaceutical companies could call it something interesting like “Helen’s drug” although the Greeks called it “heart’s ease,” or “nepenthe.” Actually, I don’t give a shit what they call it as long as I can feel happy and not the way I feel while taking Prozac. I get out of my car, slam the door, move four steps into the parking lot, and twirl in a circle with my eyes closed and my arms outstretched. I do this because I want to spin the memories out of my mind. I also want my mind to feel numb not because a drug did it, but because I forced it.
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